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Intellectual Disabilities, Concentration Issues, and SSD Benefits

 Posted on August 16, 2021 in Denied Social Security Benefits

Chicago Social Security Disability AttorneyThere are multiple different types of health conditions that a person may experience that may affect their ability to provide for themselves. In addition to conditions that affect a person’s physical health and capabilities, a variety of mental conditions can impact a person’s ability to work. These include intellectual disabilities that place limitations on the types of work a person can perform. A person who suffers from a condition that is considered a disability may be able to apply for Social Security disability benefits. One issue that can play a role in these cases is a person’s ability to maintain the proper concentration, persistence, or pace while working.

Magistrate Overrules Denial of Benefits Based on Failure to Consider Concentration, Persistence, or Pace

One recent case that was addressed in Illinois courts illustrates how concentration issues may be considered when determining eligibility for Social Security disability benefits. In the case of David N. v. Commissioner of Social Security, the plaintiff appealed the denial of Social Security disability benefits by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), stating that the ALJ did not include limitations related to concentration, persistence, or pace when assessing the plaintiff’s residual functional capacity (RFC).

Based on medical records and evidence, the ALJ determined that the plaintiff had borderline intellectual functioning that resulted in moderate limitations on his ability to understand information, remember details, and apply this information to the work being performed. These moderate limitations also affected his ability to concentrate on work and maintain a consistent pace while working. However, even with these limitations, the ALJ determined that the plaintiff had the RFC to perform work at all levels of exertion while being limited to following simple instructions and carrying out routine tasks. Since the plaintiff would be able to find jobs where he could perform unskilled, light work that fits these limitations, the ALJ denied disability benefits.

The plaintiff appealed this decision, and upon review of the case, the magistrate determined that while the ALJ’s evaluation of the plaintiff’s RFC addressed the plaintiff’s limitations related to understanding and applying information, it did not address his inability to maintain concentration, persistence, and pace. In previous cases, courts have found that limiting a person to simple instructions and routine tasks does not properly account for limitations on concentration. Because of this, the magistrate reversed the ALJ’s decision and remanded the case to be reconsidered by the Commissioner of Social Security.

Contact Our Illinois Social Security Disability Appeals Attorney

If you have intellectual disabilities or other mental or physical conditions that affect your ability to work, you will want to understand the steps you can take to receive Social Security disability benefits. At Pearson Disability Law, LLC, we can help you address the denial of a disability claim, and we will ensure that all factors are considered properly during your case. Contact our Chicago Social Security disability claim lawyer at 312-999-0999 to arrange a free consultation today.



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